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Question for pro mixer about location noise


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#1 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:03 AM

This is for a feature that will shoot in a rural area. The location seemed mostly perfect for sound but then it was noticed it had the usual jet noise often coming from way above. It is not near an airport. Closest one is 45 minutes away. It must be in the some busy flight path however.

What general steps do you guys take to try to deal with this? The location can't be moved. The director likes to shoot freely and wide so wireless mics are needed often. The shoot is aware of the mixer's needs and wants to do as little ADR, or none if possible of course, but is worried about the jets more than anything. Anyone familiar with Edward Tise's work? I was told he mastered wireless during Full Metal Jacket since little booming was possible. And that little to no ADR was needed. Can that be true?

Do you not like it if a feature needs wireless for most of the shoot or is it easier in some ways? Are the mics available now better at dealing with this kind of problem than back then or about the same?

I've been on a shoot before and heard a wireless cut background noise out very well. Do you mostly like to avoid them for film use because of the voice quality compared to something like a 416? Thanks.
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 08:52 AM

This is for a feature that will shoot in a rural area. ............. Do you mostly like to avoid them for film use because of the voice quality compared to something like a 416? Thanks.

If you've got an experienced boom operator you could go to a long shotgun like an MKH-816. I've used one once and it was a bear to keep it aimed accurately enough to maintain a constant voice quality but it did work well against background noise in a restaurant.
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#3 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 05:15 PM

Do you mostly like to avoid them for film use because of the voice quality compared to something like a 416?


A good lavalier mic (Sanken, DPA etc.) on a good wireless system (Lectrosonics) sounds good, if placed well I'd say nearly as good as a regular condenser mic. Most lavalier mics are omindirectional, to avoid backround sound put them as close as possible to the actors mouth. Sometimes it feels strange having a close sound on a that super wide shot. I would add a regular mic to record ambient on a seperate track, when people are walking it's good to get the foodsteps too.

Installing a lav mic properly on actors can be time consuming, you have to do it on each actor. First you have to find a place that sounds good and hide it, then you have to avoid friction noises. Once that done you can be sure that during the take the actor will turn his head in the oposite direction if you have it for example on the edge of his shirts collar. If you have several actors with lavs you can get phasing issues(soundwise). Most of the time it's faster and easier to have an experienced boomoperator. Sure that some shots demand wireless lav or additional recording.

A good place to put the lav mic is on the head of the actor for example a cap on the forhead, on the inside of glasses or sunglasses, in a big beard etc. Mostly it will be on his clothes with the danger of friction and the actor speaking in the oposite direction.

hope this helps, Bernhard
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#4 Mike Wallach

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:56 PM

A good lavalier mic (Sanken, DPA etc.) on a good wireless system (Lectrosonics) sounds good, if placed well I'd say nearly as good as a regular condenser mic. Most lavalier mics are omindirectional, to avoid backround sound put them as close as possible to the actors mouth. Sometimes it feels strange having a close sound on a that super wide shot. I would add a regular mic to record ambient on a seperate track, when people are walking it's good to get the foodsteps too.

Installing a lav mic properly on actors can be time consuming, you have to do it on each actor. First you have to find a place that sounds good and hide it, then you have to avoid friction noises. Once that done you can be sure that during the take the actor will turn his head in the oposite direction if you have it for example on the edge of his shirts collar. If you have several actors with lavs you can get phasing issues(soundwise). Most of the time it's faster and easier to have an experienced boomoperator. Sure that some shots demand wireless lav or additional recording.

A good place to put the lav mic is on the head of the actor for example a cap on the forhead, on the inside of glasses or sunglasses, in a big beard etc. Mostly it will be on his clothes with the danger of friction and the actor speaking in the oposite direction.

hope this helps, Bernhard


It's actually generally always a better idea to not put the wireless mic on the actors head. To get the best sound you want to place it somewhere centered on the torso, generally around the sternum. We are taught to start from the sternum and then work up. The most common one is in the knot of a tie, but otherwise it's just a matter of the outfit/wardrobe.
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Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Wooden Camera

Opal

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Visual Products

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

CineLab